Indians advance in postseason with win against Nauset
With a 21-7 win against Nauset Regional High School, the Dartmouth High Indians have secured a spot to advance further into the postseason.
The October 27 playoff game against Nauset got off to a slow start marred by penalties and quick successions in possession with little scoring opportunities, but a rejuvenated Indians team came out in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns in a matter of a minute to pick up the win.
Dartmouth got scoring started late into the second quarter, bringing the ball to the ten-yard line and put it in for a touchdown by Dane Ashton with a five-yard catch. With five seconds to go in the second quarter, Nauset matched that with a touchdown of their own, closing the half tied 7-7.
It wasn’t until 8:40 left on the clock in the fourth quarter that the Indians made their move. After an aggressive set of downs, Luke Tisdelle ran for three yards for a touchdown, bringing the Indians to 14-7. Moments later, a botched punt led to a turnover, bringing the ball back into Dartmouth’s possession.
Despite losing one touchdown due to a penalty, the Indians put touchdown number three and the extra point on the board less than 30 seconds later, leading to the final 21-7 score.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve been able to really close out our games, and I thought we did that tonight which was nice to see,” Head Coach Rick White said of the team’s success in the fourth quarter.
White added that the first half of the game was marred by mistakes and up to 30 penalties on both teams, but it didn’t take the Indians long to improve.
“We cleaned up our mistakes in the second half,” White said. “We played a much better second half… we were able to get the ball to Eric Vieira in some big situations, and we got Luke Tisdelle running the ball, so I thought our effort in the second half was much better.”
The game was the first postseason win for Nolan Ellis, the team’s sophomore quarterback in his first year on the varsity team. He’s also the brother of the Indians’ head quarterback Nate Ellis, who suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the season.
“It’s a big step up,” Ellis said. “There’s a lot of bigger guys and it’s a whole new environment with all the fans here… it’s just crazy.”
But it was something that came quick for Ellis, who previously served in a backup role for Nate before his injury. He’s received plenty of coaching from his older brother throughout the season, and wasn’t shy to put that to the test, especially in moments like scoring two touchdowns in a matter of a minute.
”My adrenaline was rushing… I was just so happy that we were winning,” Ellis said. “The line was blocking… everyone was just coming together.”
The Indians will take on first-seeded and undefeated Hopkinton in the next round of the Div. 4 playoffs next week. White plans to let his team enjoy the winning moment, and get right to work reviewing film and preparing for what could be a tough opponent.